Another first for EV Gearbox, a light truck. Commonly called a Ute elsewhere, light trucks and vans make the perfect EV conversion candidates because of their carrying capacity and usefulness.
Gil Dias gives us a tour of his 1998 Datsun 1400.
Name, Age, Occupation ?
My name is Gil Dias I am 54 years old and I am a mechanical engineer.
What got you interested in EVs Gill ?
My hobby is to invent and build projects. I already build a 16 ft wind tunnel and a vertical take off aircraft . From there my interest in electric vehicles
Is this your first EV ?
What made you decide on the Datsun 1400 ?
Because it is light weight and under 650 kg (1,433lbs)
Do you use it to haul anything ?
No nothing – still busy with the project to perfect it.
Your conversion is a 5 speed with no clutch, can you describe how you drive it, what gear do you usually start in and how often do you shift ?
I had a Datsun 1800 gearbox which a replaced with a Mazda 2.0 in which it doesn’t select gears properly. After that I install a Toyota 5 speed Cressida gearbox which select 100% without a clutch. I use all the gears for 1st to 5th.
In some of the photos you have a couple of different motors, one setup mated to the transmission looks like two motors end to end, which motor/configuration are you using at the moment ?
The motors in the van were designed by myself. The motors is two 8 inch mated together.
What kind of batteries are you using ?
I am using 12 used deltec 100 ah.
Did you install the batteries in the bed or under it ?
The batteries are installed in the bed.
What controller are you using ?
Does the truck have a steering assist ?
What kind of braking system are you using ?
I am using a self made braking system (still in progress)
Can you describe the charger you’re using ?
The charger is made by myself which is a 144 volts / 10 amps
Is there a need for Air Conditioning where you drive ?
No air conditioner
What is your typical range currently ?
I did not measure it properly but I think approximately 36 kilometers. (Ed.- 22 miles, still not bad!) (My batteries are second hand and very old)
Which are some of your favorite conversions or available new EVs ?
Bill Dube’s (KillaCycle)
What was your conversion cost ?
Unable to estimate cost because of develop mostly everything by myself.
What has your conversion experience taught you overall ?
To go further and improve my modification to a better and more economical car.
Do you have a favorite story about building or driving your EV ?
My goal is to build an electric car that needs no outside assistants to keep it going. At this very moment I am building a magnet motor to drive the car. (Still in progress and I hope it will work. )
Is there anything else you’d like to mention ?
Yes – For the EV to be affordable, I try to be cost effective and eliminate Lithium iron batteries. That is my main goal.
Thanks Gil, I really like your EV, I have a real soft-spot for the classic mini truck look and the double motor approach is always a winner in my book :) (Zombie)
Gil Emailed me a flickr URL with more photos of the truck :